What past cases reveal about Trump’s legal exposure following FBI raid

Federal authorities entered uncharted territory on Monday when they raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in search of evidence reportedly tied to Trump’s alleged mishandling of government documents, setting off renewed speculation about his potential legal exposure.

And while no precedent exists to guide a criminal probe of a former president, a small number of recent cases involving senior government officials improperly retaining classified information could serve as a roadmap for prosecutors if an ongoing FBI probe bears evidence of criminal conduct, legal experts told ABC News.

“At the end of the day, in evaluating whether to bring charges, the Justice Department would compare the facts they think they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the facts at issue in past cases,” said David Laufman, a former Justice Department official in the national security division and current partner at Wiggin and Dana LLP.

Classified documents

The stunning FBI raid on the former president’s Florida home was related to documents that Trump took with him when he departed Washington in January 2021, including some records the National Archives has said were marked classified, sources told ABC News.

In January 2022, Trump turned over 15 boxes of records to the National Archives, but a small team of federal agents followed up with Trump’s lawyers in the spring to inquire about additional records he may have removed from the White House. Attorneys for Trump said they were in the process of searching for documents and had been engaged in some back-and-forth communications with federal investigators, sources told ABC News.

Trump, who has not been charged with a crime, slammed Monday’s raid as “prosecutorial misconduct” and an “assault” orchestrated by his political foes.

Officials have thus far not disclosed what documents the federal agents had hoped to find, nor whether Trump had

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